Years ago our church was holding a series of evangelistic meetings and the guest speaker had an idea. He suggested that we all sign up to pray for an hour during g next twenty-four hours in the hopes that some of the people coming to the meetings would make decisions for God. Maybe folks would even come to church because of our prayers.
I couldn’t sign up. I worked at the state employment office and lots of people were out of work. Our office was very busy and I worked at the front job search desk. On the employment benefits side of the building, several lines of people waited their turn to be served and sometimes the lines wound around the block outside of the building. There was no way I could stop for an hour and pray. So I quietly asked the Lord to remind me to pray, and I would quickly make my petitions mentally.
The next day at work, the lines were busy as usual. One woman came early and stayed late. For some reason there were problems with her file and she had to keep coming to the counter, asking one thing or another, but what was interesting to me was her name. I’m not sure of her first name. Her last name, though, was Pray. She didn’t walk up to the other two women working there; she came to me.
The Bible says to “pray without ceasing.” I don’t think that means every thought is a prayer. But it does mean we should always be ready to pray. Of course, that day I prayed not only when she came up to the counter, but whenever I looked up from my work and observed her.
I marvel at the gift God gave me that day!
Many times as I pray, I stop for a moment, awestruck because I am talking to God–insignificant little me speaking to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I wonder if I am being profane because I pray for things that are so unimportant in the Heavenly scheme of things. I struggled a few weeks ago because I really, really wanted the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series. My husband has been a fan his whole life and I got swept up in wanting them to win, too—in spite of the fact that I’m a Milwaukee Brewers fan.
When I was praying that they would win, I wondered if it was right to pray for a baseball game. After all, innocent people in the Middle East were getting their heads cut off. Others all over the world were dying of cancer. Billions of people are without Christ—and I was praying about a baseball game? How self-serving!
I talked to God about it, as well as my husband and an assistant coach I know. Then I spent some time praying for those losing their lives for whatever reason, be they terrorists or cancer or other diseases. I prayed for friends and loved ones whom I don’t believe have accepted the Lord, and I prayed that God would give me the words to talk to them about Him when opportunity arises. God said He would do that. “for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke 12:12 NASV
And I prayed that the Cubs would win. I still wasn’t sure if I should be praying for that, but I asked that His will would be done.
God answers prayer. He wants us to speak to Him about the things that matter to us. He blesses us in so many ways, I just cannot think that He doesn’t want us to come to Him about every little thing.
So I do.